Expectations: Mixing Personal and Business Relationships

One of the biggest problems we face in working with couples in business together, is the co-mingling of their relationship dynamics in terms of the personal relationship and their business relationship, merging.

One of the most prevalent aspects in relationships that becomes a problem, is the expectations that each individual places on the other; in their everyday lives and as business partners. These lines easily get muddied, and when they do, a breeding ground of contempt, chronic “misunderstanding”, questioning of motives, love itself, trust, and more are questioned.

I recently had a conversation with a couple that experienced this very phenomena. Working from home in a pandemic doesn’t help of course. But a relatively simple business question was posed from one to the other. I was amazed that as they recounted the event how many elements were involved in the equation. How many assumptions, expectations, and mis-reads were present. Not only that, previous trauma was triggered in them, that partially forms negative expectations such as rejection, not being accepted, and more.

I brought this reality up as I have many times. One of the suggestions I offer people is this; we already strongly promote couples meeting together regularly to read, journal, communicate proactively together and build their relationship. Proactively working through problems and assumptions, expectations and needs. Well… the same thing needs to happen on the business level. These lines are too easily crossed and particularly left unaddressed or regularly misunderstood and swept under the rug act as a double whammy in the relationship.

Expectations and needs, even in terms of temperament, need to be understood and communicated in proactive ways to avoid the destructive consequences that inevitably come.


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